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CiteWeb id: 20080000111

CiteWeb score: 3067

DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehn309

Guidelines and Expert Consensus Documents summarize and evaluate all currently available evidence on a particular issue with the aim of assisting physicians and other healthcare providers in selecting the best management strategies for a typical patient, suffering from a given condition, taking into account the impact on outcome, as well as the risk–benefit ratio of particular diagnostic or therapeutic means. Guidelines are no substitutes for textbooks. The legal implications of medical guidelines have been discussed previously.A great number of Guidelines and Expert Consensus Documents have been issued in recent years by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) as well as by other societies and organizations. Because of the impact on clinical practice, quality criteria for development of guidelines have been established in order to make all decisions transparent to the user. The recommendations for formulating and issuing ESC Guidelines and Expert Consensus Documents can be found on the ESC Web Site in the guidelines section (www.escardio.org).In brief, experts in the field are selected and undertake a comprehensive review of the published evidence for management and/or prevention of a given condition. A critical evaluation of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures is performed, including assessment of the risk–benefit ratio. Estimates of expected health outcomes for larger societies are included, where data exist. The level of evidence and the strength of recommendation of particular treatment options are weighed and graded according to pre-defined scales, as outlined in Tables 1 and 2 .View this table:Table 1 Classes of recommendationsView this table:Table 2 Levels of evidenceThe experts of the writing panels have provided disclosure statements of all relationships they may have which might be perceived as real or potential sources of conflicts of interest. These disclosure forms are kept on file at the European Heart House, headquarters of the ESC. Any changes in conflict of interest that arise …

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